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Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and I decided to get away for New Year and with the help of our favourite travel agent chose this 5 day Southampton to Amsterdam cruise. Embarkation was straightforward and we were in our cabin 10 minutes before our official ... Read More
My wife and I decided to get away for New Year and with the help of our favourite travel agent chose this 5 day Southampton to Amsterdam cruise. Embarkation was straightforward and we were in our cabin 10 minutes before our official boarding time cases followed us in! We were in an outside cabin on the lowest level F113 with a window. I was expecting a smaller room so was pleasantly surprised. We chose Freedom Dining,which meant we could go to dinner as and when. The restaurant food was of a high standard and New Year's Eve overall was probably one of the best we have enjoyed (5 courses). After dinner we went in to the Curzon Theatre for the very impressive Headliners show of recent West End musicals. We also saw them performing Queen's greatest hits in Carmen (another concert venue) on our last night, superb. We went to the top deck from about 11 30 to view all the firework displays through the Amsterdam suburbs, followed by the official Amsterdam display which was less than 200 yards from Aurora. My wife loves fireworks so it made her evening complete. Returning to Southampton for the 3rd Jan we had a sea day on the 2nd very rough force 6/7 but although enjoyable I had to hang on to the rails. Disembarkation again was straightforward. All in all good trip, easy going. The staff were friendly , and Dominic, our steward and the waiting and reception staff were very attentive. We booked one trip through the ship, the scenic evening cruise through the canals which included wine (unlimited) plus a variety of soft drinks and dutch cheeses with nuts and savoury biscuits. Very enjoyable as the guide gave us some history and we saw the lovely homes with their Christmas Trees too. I mentioned Headliners but we also saw a really good band called Ukebox. Five young men from Liverpool dressed in suits 4 playing the ukulele and one the banjo, Part of their act was a medley of Beatles songs. Most entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise to be with friends and living locally departure was convenient from the port of Southampton. Only second time on P&O and was hoping for a better experience but let down firstly by poor administration and secondly by ... Read More
Chose this cruise to be with friends and living locally departure was convenient from the port of Southampton. Only second time on P&O and was hoping for a better experience but let down firstly by poor administration and secondly by our two experiences in the main dining room. We were only a group of three in two different staterooms. When we made our reservations were promised dining together but on ship the Maitre D,s did not appear to be able to carry out such a simple exercise. We did eventually get a joint table by having met a senior management officer and discussing the problem with her, but by that time we had made the decision to eat in the Glasshouse Bar/Restaurant. The Glasshouse was totally different, a wide selection of dishes, all of good quality and presented with a flair. The team lead by A-Jay provided excellent service. Wine selection and Cocktails were better than a four star hotel. Stateroom, and outside single was snug and kept clean by the steward. It did however require a bit of TLC. Generally however the ship,s public areas seemed clean and looked after. Entertainment and activities are not our thing so no real comment except to say the pianist who played in various public areas seemed to have a rather monotonous itinery. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We left Cunards Queen Elizabeth to join this cruise for New Year thinking the entertainment would be more fun and Indy it was. The ships entertainment crew are quite brilliant and deserve a huge pat on the back for all the shows but ... Read More
We left Cunards Queen Elizabeth to join this cruise for New Year thinking the entertainment would be more fun and Indy it was. The ships entertainment crew are quite brilliant and deserve a huge pat on the back for all the shows but especially for the musical show which got a standing ovation...but alas that's where the good stops. On arrival to the ship our cabins were not ready and we were told to go to the Buffet area for something to eat. My friend chose roast beef - on eating his first mouthful his spat it out saying it tasted horrible - as a chef myself I could see the meat was not right and on smelling it confirmed it was VERY OFF. I immediately told the manager not to serve any more and to remove it from service which he assured me he had done, but no follow up explanation. This buffet area is dire with most of the dishes on offer being made up - one day bangers and mash, awful. Prawn pizza awful, fish pie - like water. We gave up and thought we would try the grill area. Stone cold burgers, stale sandwiches and baguettes - chips shrewd all over the floor just terrible. The chef in a woolly hat and a complete lack of love or care. On arrival at the Cabin, bathroom mirrors dirty, long black ladies hair on the towels ( we were two men) dirty balcony windows and a very unkept feel in dated and very tired cabins. That said our Steward was friendly and rectified what he could. The food in the main dining room is better especially if you stick to the simple things - prawn cocktail was good and a cottage pie on the first night excellent as we're parts of the New Year's Eve gala dinner, especially the rack of lamb. And then there is the Glass House ...... an alternative dining venue. Please don't build your hopes up our first visit was better but the 2nd visit resulted in a 40 minute wait for a table. Follewd by a further 10 minute Wait at the table only to be informed that we might have to wait for a "long time" for our food and that they had run out of most dishes and triple cut chips. Our steak meal inedible resulting in some 20 visits to the loo the day after with severe stomach cramps to boot. Summing up standards are low if you search about you might get a few nice dishes but that shouldn't be the case. If P & 0 are offering something it should at least be edible. I am also concerned about hygiene and stock rotation. No chef should allow food out of their kitchen that is not edible and the roast beef and the steaks in the glass house were not. Neither should we experience a room that is anything other than spotless and ours was not including an out of date yoghurt in the mini fridge. Both my friend and I have suffered stomach pains, sickness and diahorrea for two days this is either caused by the food or by the lack of public hygiene with hand gels. You don't get into a Cunard dining venue without antiseptic gel on your hands. I saw hardly anybody use it on the Aurora Much needs to be done and if you are thinking of going think twice Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
we chose from Ex uk cruises.for xmas. Not too many to choose from. But PO as usual good service and intinerary and value for money, No point in our opinion having a balcony at this time of year, plus a cabin lower down is a good place ... Read More
we chose from Ex uk cruises.for xmas. Not too many to choose from. But PO as usual good service and intinerary and value for money, No point in our opinion having a balcony at this time of year, plus a cabin lower down is a good place to be in event of bad weather. Cabin a little tired however was clean and comfortable, Unusually for us we enjoyed cabin service for most breakfasts and the service and food was excellent. One week before our cruise my wife had an accident and this meant she had some mobility problems. PO were aware of this and went that extra bit to ensure we enjoyed our holiday. The food on board was as usual for us, to our taste. No need to try the speciality restaurants. for us. Crew in all departments gave good service. Always a bonus not having to fly. Airports seem to get busier and more congested each time we fly ! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Very poor entertainment, had a 10yr old with us that hated kids club (couldn’t blame her) same stuff on every night. The spa on the ship was appalling, still kicking myself for not walking out. Bar closed at midnight, nowhere else except ... Read More
Very poor entertainment, had a 10yr old with us that hated kids club (couldn’t blame her) same stuff on every night. The spa on the ship was appalling, still kicking myself for not walking out. Bar closed at midnight, nowhere else except room service to get a drink. Staff entertainment didn’t show up on numerous occasions. Was a complete waste of money, hated every moment of being on the ship. Luckily we managed to see some amazing places. Great thing was the room, always clean and tidy. Although they never topped up the mini bar. Found out towards the end that you had to ask and sign for anything after the first night. Plus only complimentary water on the first night! Just constantly felt like there was nothing to do, was definitely aimed at the older crowd. If you want to know how to get rid of fluid retention this is your ship *yawn* Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise to get away for Christmas and have a really relaxing time. It was just the job. Check in and embarkation were so simple, so much nicer than going to an airport. The cabin was fine, we had a balcony and were ... Read More
We chose this cruise to get away for Christmas and have a really relaxing time. It was just the job. Check in and embarkation were so simple, so much nicer than going to an airport. The cabin was fine, we had a balcony and were impressed by the amount of storage. Our steward looked after us brilliantly for the next 10 days. We found there were plenty of activities for us. We learnt some simple ballroom dances, line danced with the Headliners and did the fitsteps classes. We were on late fixed dining in Alexandria. Our waiters were very friendly and helpful with wine choices and slight changes to the menu. Christmas dinner was really good and amazing that they delivered such quality when serving so many people at one go. We were impressed by The Headliners, their songs from the shows was especially good. The orchestra and trio were also really good. One disappointment was the band Next Step, the couple of times we saw them their performance was not great and on one occasion they walked off stage before the scheduled end of the performance after what appeared to be an argument with other staff. The bars were nice, especially the Crows Nest, they were relaxing and friendly. The mix of ages was pretty good and there seemed to be something for everyone. We found getting on and off the ship much less hassle than we anticipated. Waiting for 20 minutes after the doors opened is definitely a good idea. Oslo was lovely (make sure you visit the town hall it is amazing inside) and Copenhagen is wonderful (of course), especially Tivoli Gardens which was a winter wonderland. Disembarkation was pretty painless too. All in all really pleased with our choice and we’ve already booked our next cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
I had had a lovely Canary cruise on the Azura two years ago, it was lovely. had a balcony which was great. Booked this christmas cruise for the 19th dec - 29th dec, and was not disappointed. The ship this time was the Aurora. The staff ... Read More
I had had a lovely Canary cruise on the Azura two years ago, it was lovely. had a balcony which was great. Booked this christmas cruise for the 19th dec - 29th dec, and was not disappointed. The ship this time was the Aurora. The staff and crew were fantastic, very helpful and friendly and could not do enough for us. Had a window view this time as didn't really want a balcony for this winter cruise. lovely large picture window. Food was plentiful and good. The entertainment was first class and plenty of it. Matt the guitarist was amazing and he could play anything and did. He went from Bar to Bar and was very well liked. Favourite bar was the The crows nest. just quiet gorgeous and a amazing view. The trio who played their were brilliant and a last after dinner drink was so relaxing just listing to some beautiful music. The ship needs updating and i believe that it is going to have a refit this Spring? and will become an adult only ship as well. I shall be booking with P & O again at some stage. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We enjoyed a Christmas Cruise last year with Royal Caribean and anticipated a similar experience - what a disappointment. Before we even started we found the website very difficult to navigate and actually speaking to someone on the ... Read More
We enjoyed a Christmas Cruise last year with Royal Caribean and anticipated a similar experience - what a disappointment. Before we even started we found the website very difficult to navigate and actually speaking to someone on the phone even more difficult. The coach trip to Southampton was well communicated and the coach was large and spacious. The fact that coach parked well away from the pick up point was a major problem as we had to man handle our luggage several hundred yards in wet conditions. ( This was true of the return journey too) Registration was smooth as was the emergency briefing. The food in the Horizon restuarant (breakfast and lunch) was on a par with a Wetherstones pub. Scrambled eggs made with egg powder and toast as hard as biscuits with no difference in choice from day to day. One egg station with massive queues. Lunch offered a more varied choice but the quality and presentation ( apart from desserts) was a low standard. Food apparently haphazardly piled into heated trays. Dinner in the Medina restuarant was much better but apart from Christmas Day the food on the two other formal nights was not special. Service in the restaurants and bars was mixed. The almost complete reliance on male waiters and bar staff was most surprising - some were very good but others surly and arrogant, particularly when dealing with my wife who is Asian and was ignored or looked down upon on many occasions. Evening entertainment was very limited. The Headliners sang and danced to popular groups/genres and were well drilled. Hardly West End show performers though and the 'shows' lacked creativity, uniqueness or any 'wow' factor. The stopping off points, Oslo, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Bruges were well selected and the best parts of our trip. The guests on board were mainly couples and for the most part elderly. My wife christened the cruise ship a floating nursing home as many many guests were infirm needing help in one way or another to get round the ship. The ones in motorized wheelchairs were reckless and seemed to have little regard for fellow passengers whilst the ones on sticks or walking frames seemed to block passageways by walking 2 or 3 abreast. All in all a very disappointing experience and one I will not repeat. The difference between the Royal Caribean experience and the P&O Aurora experience is so vast it cannot sensibly be measured in my view. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Booked this as a last minute, inexpensive cruise (on a saver fare) to get away for Christmas from Southampton because husband refused to fly! Better than I expected. Ship in need of a little tlc but well decorated for a Christmas very ... Read More
Booked this as a last minute, inexpensive cruise (on a saver fare) to get away for Christmas from Southampton because husband refused to fly! Better than I expected. Ship in need of a little tlc but well decorated for a Christmas very geared to families (of which there were many with small children). Staff generally polite and attentive and helpful as well as pleasant and friendly. As saver fare passengers were allocated dining, late, which we couldn't change but worked out well with 4 excellent dinner companions. However would have been good if the table designed for 8 could have been reduced in size to take the 6 of us - it had to be known we were never going to be 8 - would have been much more comfortable. Food was on the whole very good although on occasion portions were a tad on the small size (one evening my monkfish dish had only 2 x 1inch diameter medallions of monkfish! Yes, I know I could have asked for more. Service in both the Alexandria and Medina dining rooms was excellent. Food in the latter was better than in the buffet but often not hot, fried food was terrible and I think much of the food was pre-prepared rather than freshly cooked but a good choice of dishes otherwise and a pleasant experience. Personally cannot recommend the Horizon (and I prefer a buffet). I found it to be an unwelcoming open space akin to an old-fashioned motorway café! Didn't find the food looked very appealing and seemed heavily pork based. Found that there were many dishes on the other menus which included pork (which I do not eat) but where it was not expected or mentioned. One real complaint - I did feel that Chef was rather heavy-handed with the salt, especially in the soups. Perhaps they were packet soups? One lunch time in the Medina nearly all the dishes contained pork in one form or another. The Glass House taster dinner was a superb evening, although we did not return there to pay additionally food food, nor did we go to the Beach House or Sindhu where there is an extra fee. The cabin had an excellent amount of storage, plenty of drawers and cupboards which was great. Being picky, the coat hangers on those hooks intended to deter theft are ridiculous and difficult to remove to hang things back in the rear of the cupboard. Please get rid of them. Use ordinary coat hangers and charge if they are removed as is the case with the robes which were sadly lacking in our balcony cabin. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. For the former, we arrived at the time indicated and started embarkation almost immediately although there was longer queue than expected going through security - however it was an opportunity to chat with other in the queue. The shows I was able to attend (was unfortunately unwell a couple of days so not up to late nights) were on the whole excellent with only one performer I did not like and one who was so-so. The Headliners team were excellent as a group and their shows were some of the best I have seen on 25+ cruises. There were plenty of activities in which too take part and husband was delighted with the number of football matches he was able to watch in the Champions Lounge leaving me to read in peace one of the many other comfortable lounges. Having visited the stops previously we were happy to wander around on our own on the whole but the one excursion we went on was very well organised and although could have been a little longer, we thoroughly enjoyed it. Our table mates were very impressed with their excursion to Ypres. One thing I would like to say is that at £7 per person per day, I thought the gratuities were reasonable as were the prices for drinks on which no further gratuity was added, as is the case with many other cruise lines. This was our second cruise with P&O and we will very likely go with them again (perhaps somewhere warmer next time!). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Food really is not up to the standard you would expect from a cruise ship. Tasteless, stale bread and sandwiches little choice on food for late buffet. Reception staff that really could not be bothered and lied to us on more that one ... Read More
Food really is not up to the standard you would expect from a cruise ship. Tasteless, stale bread and sandwiches little choice on food for late buffet. Reception staff that really could not be bothered and lied to us on more that one occastion. Entertainment was nothing to write home and very standard with only one half decent act on board. The restaurants that you have to pay for and the main dining room in the evening are the best place to eat. Breakfast is very poor overall and this ship seems to be Benidorm at sea, So if you like you cheeky chap cockney gizza this is the cruise ship for you. Iwill never book with P&O again. We have booked for IONA first voyage its now getting cancelled and I will take the lose on the deposit and not bother giving them any more for my money again. Read Less
Aurora Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.5
Family 5.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.7
Rates 3.0 3.9

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